Property and mortgages

Demand for £1m homes soars

Demand for homes worth £1m or more is outperforming the market as a whole, with the number of transactions reaching record levels.

According to stats published by Lloyds Bank, there were more than 6,100 property sales worth seven figures or more during the first half of 2014 – an average of 33 a day. That was a rise of nearly 50% on the same period a year earlier, and a rise of 345% over the past five years.

Although £1m-plus sales represent just a slither of the overall market and shouldn’t be used as a representation of the wider picture, their growth dwarfed that of the market for cheaper properties, which rose an average of 26% on an annual basis.

The Lloyds research also found that sales of multi-million-pound properties are also on the rise. During the first six months of the year, 1,360 homes sold for at least £2m – up from 949 during the first half of 2013.

Unsurprisingly, seven in every 10 £1m-plus sales took place in London, while the capital, the South-East and the East of England between them accounted for more than 90% of transactions.

“The number of homes sold for at least a £1m is at a record high,” said Sarah Deaves, private banking director at Lloyds.

“Property values in prime locations have been boosted by growing demand from wealthy, and often cash-rich, buyers from the UK and overseas, as well as limited supply of such properties.

“Although demand has grown across all regions in 2014, the greatest concentration is in London – particularly the boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.”